Contributed by Wayne Chan
As the first foreign speaker ever invited to address Yoido Full Gospel Church’s (YFGC) youth members, Kong Hee asked over 20,000 youth at the church’s Holy Spirit Youth Convention in South Korea this question: Where are all the young people today?
Citing United Nations’ (UN) statistics, Kong reminded his young audience that, like most of them, 60 per cent which is more than half of the world’s population today is below 24 years of age. He added that half of this 60 per cent, or one third of the world, is below the age of 10.
Previously singing, cheering and clapping with all of their might at Seoul’s Olympic indoor stadium, the vibrant sea of Korean youth, uniformly decked out in bright yellow fell silent for a few seconds.
The message was clear. The world’s largest church, with over 830,000 members, urgently needed a youth revival that can impact young people around the world.
To do that, it needed all of its over 20,000 youth members to step up into leadership and step out into the marketplace to win more young people into God’s kingdom.
Kong likened his young audience’s challenges to that faced by prophet Jeremiah, who felt he was too young to be used by God when called upon by the Lord.
Presenting an extensive list of biblical examples including young Joseph’s childhood visions of political greatness and young David’s boyhood slaying of the formidable Goliath, Kong clearly illustrated that God is always looking to raise young people up to achieve the seemingly impossible.
In line with bringing Christ into culture, Kong urged YFGC’s youth to strive to become the best they can be in music, acting, dancing and multimedia technology, so that they can use their talents to change Asia for Jesus.
Praising their opening hip hop dance, electric guitar and beat box performances, Kong told the youth not to be afraid to use the instruments of the world for God’s glory, as long as the message was kept sacred.
Making reference to his own and YFGC founder, David Yonggi Cho’s experience in church building, Kong said that just like how young Mary faced criticism when she anointed the feet of Jesus with costly oil of spikenard and wiped His feet with her hair, so too would the youth face persecution and criticism as they endeavor to do great things for God.
Kong also shared about how he was only a shy, intimidated young man when God asked him to surrender his life to His purpose, and give up both his Oxford University scholarship and his dreams to be a rich businessman.
|PHOTOS: Melvin Chen|
In closing, Kong challenged YFGC’s youth to hold nothing back in serving God and His purposes, to give Jesus their lives.
Eric Soo, personal assistant to Kong, said, “I could see many youth weeping during the altar call, desiring to live a life sanctified and set apart for God. I was moved just looking at them cry out to God.”
Kong also spoke at two other sessions organized by YFGC for Church Growth International (CGI), an organization founded by Dr Cho and dedicated to teaching the principles of evangelism and church growth to pastors all over the world.
Interestingly, Cho reduced the length of his own sermon to allow Kong more time to deliver his message at YFGC’s Holy Spirit Youth Convention, which was a full day seminar held on 6 June 2009, with four speakers packed back to back from morning to evening without any intermission.